Disability Employment Laws

There are 5 important federal laws that protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination
in employment and the job application process. All employers need to understand these and
incorporate into their practices for non-discrimination and compliance.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

  • Rehabilitation Act

  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

  • Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)

  • Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA)

Source: U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

In 1990, the ADA was signed into law with the intention to prevent discrimination on the basis of an individual's disabilities in all aspects of society. Similar to how it is illegal for organizations to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion, the ASA protected people with disabilities. These protections included accommodations in the areas of employment, government services, and telecommunications.

Source: ADA National Network

Rehabilitation Act

In 1973, the Rehabilitation Act was signed into law with the intention to prevent discrimination on the basis of an individual's disabilities among federal agencies and any organizations receiving funding from the federal government including nonprofit agencies and government contractors. This law is considered a precursor to the ADA, which expanded the Rehabilitation Act to a broader degree. This law states that these entities have to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

Source: Cornell Law School

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

In 2014, the WIOA was signed into law with the intention to provide assistance to job seekers in gaining access to education, training, employment, and other services needed to succeed in the labor market. Furthermore, this law prohibits organizations from discriminating against people who receive assistance from programs that are funded by the WIOA.

Source: U.S. Employment and Training Administration

Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)

In 1974, the VEVRAA was signed into law with the intention to prevent discrimination against veterans who are attempting to enter the private sector after actively serving in the army. Therefore, private organizations are not allowed to discriminate against people who have served in the army as they are trying to enter the workforce.

Source: Lifeline for Vets

Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA)

In 1978, the CSRA was signed into law with the intention to provide federal managers with the flexibility to improve operations in the government so that employees are protected from unfair advantages. This law established the merit system principles and established prohibited personnel practices. Additionally, the Civil Service Commission was abolished as this law caused the reorganization of several federal departments.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office